May 2006

Child Abuse Advocacy

shoemart59mini.jpgI am not surprised that after the mashing incident in Greenbelt 3, a smiliar incident will happen again. A friend in her mid twenties emailed me about a child abuse incident in Shoemart (SM) Baguio. The father, Angelico Mercader is the Head of Communications at the Office of the Secretary in the Department of Education and a father of three young children. He is advocating against child abuse after that incident:

I’d like to share an incident which happened last Saturday, April 29, 2006 in Baguio City where my two sons, age 6 and 8, were sexually harassed at SM Baguio.


I went to SM Baguio with my two sons and 4 year-old daughter on Saturday afternoon. At the entrance, there was this routine baggage inspection – one line for males and another for females. Upon our entrance, the guard inspected my bag and frisked me. As I was holding
my little girl, my two sons were following right behind me.

After I was inspected, I saw the guard frisking my sons from the waist down to their private parts, one after the other. I freaked out when I saw what the guard did, as I also saw him smiling while my two sons were looking at me helplessly. I reprimanded him and said that he had
just sexually harassed my children. Instead of apologizing, he argued that he was only joking and that he wasn’t gay and that my children were boys anyway.

The complete email can also be found here and here. Incidentally, the owners of SM and the security agency, Star Force Security, are one and the same.

The incident angers me because of a similar attitude I got from a fellow mother-chaperone in one of my girls’ choir tour in Canada. Another mom whispered to me that one of our kids, a 6 year old girl (let’s call her Leila) fondled the private parts of her Filipino-Canadian host’ 8 year old child. I was appalled and immediately reported it to the mother-chaperone of Leila. I was even more shocked at her reply:

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Belly Dancing Mama and Daughter

bellybells1.jpg I told my daughter , Lauren ” Did you know that [tag]belly dance[/tag] was taught by mothers to their daughters for easy childbirths?” She raised an eyebrow. I added, “At least you’re learning it now while still single“. Lauren rolled her eyes. She decided to tag along with me last week for belly dancing . Ahh, we had so much fun. After the belly dance session, she went to the “Girl Shoppe” at Market! Market! and bought me red hip scarves with coins while she got the purple for herself. This morning was our second session. The second time around is so much easier . Belly dancing reminds me a bit of the “hula” or “hawaiian dance” which was the craze for pre-teens in the late sixties. I know how to sashay my hips like a graceful hula dancer. But belly dance is different.

The dance’s movements teach you to focus on moving one part of the body, and make muscles and limbs toned yet flexible. One learns to control body movements, restricting them either to the upper or lower body. In “shoulder shimmies,” for instance, only the shoulders, arms and chest should move, not the waist or hips. Source

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Getting a pet Cat or not?

birman catbirman cat
birman catbirman catI was at the pet shop of Makati Cinema Square, looking for an anti-flea medication for the pets at home when I spotted these kitties. How adorable. This Birman kitten mewed as I approached the cage. So cute. Then did a cutesy pose. He looks like a cross between a Siamese cat and a Persian cat. I looked at the price. Birman Cat, No papers, 10,000 pesos ($196.00). 10,000 pesos, really? I exclaimed. The salesman said it costs 36,000 pesos ($705.00) if the cat came with papers but he could gives me 1000 pesos off the asking price. Our Siamese cat came without papers and cost only 2,000 pesos over 7 years ago. But this is a Birman Cat. Unlike the Siamese cat, Birman cats are affectionate and soft-spoken. Lauren’s Siamese pet can be such a loud mouth. I really want to buy a pet cat of my own or even adopt an ordinary cat. See, the existing pets at home are owned by the 2 girls. They refuse to be petted by me whenever the girls are around. The kitties clamber up to my chair only when the 2 girls are at school

catbook.jpgI don’t think my husband will approve of a third cat at home. He’s asthamtic. But out of his love for the girls, he allowed them to have pets. In fact, he surprised me by buying “The Everything Cat Book“. It’s enjoyable to read and contains a lot of information I never knew in caring for cats. He knows I love these furry balls.

But a cat book is different from having a third cat. Mother’s day is coming soon, as Lauren quipped. Hmm?!

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Getting a Globe 3G Mobile Broadband with HSDPA

button_coveragearea.jpgAs an anniversary present to ourselves, we availed of the latest 3 G capable phone promo from Globe Handyphones. This promo started May 5 and ends on May 12. So why not? GLOBE has to make their 3G capable phones affordable so that it available to as big a market as possible. Anyway, the Nokia N70 can be bought by upgrading to a 2500 peso plan or a zero interest plan for 6, 12 or 18 months using your credit card. Of course we opted for the cheaper method which was the 18 month plan. The cost of the unit with VAT included is 21,992.04 pesos ($431) or 1221.78 pesos month for the next 18 months. The video call cost the same as the regular voice call rates. I don’t know if that same rate will continue on. The rates are valid till May 30, 2006. Aww. So far, 3 G calls are just Globe to Globe subscribers. We haven’t tested the video call yet because it takes 3 days for 3 G services to be activated.

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21st wedding anniversary

married for 21 yearsTwenty one years ago, I married my boyfriend of 7 years. We’ve had 21 years of [tag]marriage[/tag] and 28 years as a couple. Inspite of the catfights, diverse personalities and the death of our precious son, we are still together. How did we do it? I don’t know. It must be the hopeless romantics in us that keeps us together. I credit my husband for never giving up on me during those times I gave up on him. We celebrated our [tag]wedding anniversary[/tag] with a simple dinner at Via Mare with our 2 daughters. Before dinner we attended the book launch of “Journey beyond the Great Wall” at the National Bookstore , Shangrila Plaza Mall.

oystersFor appetizers, Butch ordered oysters. I whispered “aphrodisiacs” .

But I can’t eat them“.

Too bad, Butch suffers high uric acid. I ended up eating 5 oysters.

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Successful Book Launch of “Fallen Cradle”

book launch fallen cradle“[tag]Fallen Cradle[/tag]” is a book of 22 stories by parents who have a lost a child. It was formally launched today at Powerbooks Greenbelt Makati. What can I say? The Book launch was a huge success. The initial 150 books set for the launch ran out. Anvil Publishing rushed to get more stock from the warehouse. My story on Luijoe, My Angel is on page 29. A lot of people say he’s such a handsome boy. I know. We chose that picture because he exudes so much charm.

The first few sentences of my story goes this way:

““If I die, Mama, will I be alive again?” Luijoe asked. My six-year-old was lying on the bed, flipping through the prayer books piled on his tummy.

It was Holy Week, a month before that fateful day of May 27, 2000, the day he drowned in a beach resort in Cebu.

I turned my body to face his and stroked his cheek. How could I explain the mysteries of death to a little boy? ““When we die, Lui, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven,” I said the lines I’d memorized from the teachings of our Catholic Church.

Of course you have to buy the book to read the rest of the story.

This book paved the way to the positive resolution of my [tag]grief[/tag] journey. During the second blueprint in November 2005, Agnes Prieto invited me to be part of the book. I have never written my loss much less how Luijoe died. Writing Luijoe’s story turned out to be very difficult, often bringing tears as I recalled the painful events. These events were buried deep in my heart and I had to reach out to my innermost feelings. My sister, Myrna L. de Vera helped me a lot with the writing style (Thanks dear sister) and the editing work. Writing Luijoe’s story culimnated into the renewal phase of my grief journey. I submitted the final edit of my story on November 27, 2005. On the same day and inspired by my transformation, I wrote The Compassionate Friends International Council if I could start a Philippines Chapter. That was how The Compassionate Friends Philippines started. Reaching out to other bereaved parents is a living tribute to my son . Luijoe is never entirely gone.

fallen cradlefallen cradle butch
I’ve only attended two book launch events in my lifetime so I can’t really compare if today’s event was a tremendous success. I just said it was a hit because they ran out of copies. Agnes Prieto prepared a touching rose and cradle ceremony with a powerpoint presentation of each child represented in the book. A short anecdote taken from each story and our child’s photo flashed on the screen. The parents picked a single white rose from the table and placed it on the vase by the baby’s cradle. The toys surrounding the cradle belongs to Luijoe. Yes, all these years I’ve kept them in a sealed box. Butch , my dear hubby was a substitute for the absentee parent contributors.

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